Tag Archives: trademarks

In 2013, we wrote about the branding wars between candy bar makers.  These disputes are good measure of the boundaries between 3-D trademarks that have acquired distinctiveness (registrable) and those that are functional (not registrable). In 2006, Nestlé was granted trademark rights in the “distinctive” shape of its KitKat bar in various European countries.  But […]

The distinctive smell of Play-Doh evokes memories of many happy hours of childhood play, those of my children and mine. Perhaps, if you played with the colored “doh,” you probably share similar nostalgia.  Hasbro has been making Play-Doh since the 1950’s and its distinct odor is not natural but a fragrance that Hasboro added to […]

Marijuana has become big business. We never thought it would happen but now  29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and eight states have legalized pot for recreational use. But alas, federal law, still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act meaning that cannabis […]

Dear Doc: At times, you write about copyrights. At other times, you write about patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and other legal mumbo-jumbo. I’m confused. What’s all of that got to do with intellectual property? Signed, Inquiring Client   Dear Inqy: Back in the dark ages, when the Doc passed the bar, things were pretty clear. […]

The Washington Redskins NFL team has been fighting for years to maintain its registered trademarks containing the term REDSKINS. Its on and off again fight has been hotly debated in public, press and the courts. Finally, the United States Supreme Court has weighed in.  Funny enough, the case before them was not that of the Redskins but […]

Mr. Chris Gillespie must have thought he had a brilliant idea when he registered multiple domain names that included the term “Google,” such as “googledisney.com,” “googleBarackObama.net,” “Googlenewtvs.com” and others. Did he truly believe that Google would not sue him?   Or was this part of a grander scheme?  Think about the implications of provoking Google to […]